Talks & Presentations

 


Stump the Chump (Questions Cafe)

Q&A format where students can ask any question they wish of the “Chump” (me) regarding Christianty. My job is to offer a thoughtful reply.

Jesus: Secret Messiah

Why he’s not as obvious as one might expect.

 

Reasons to Trust the Gospels

A short case for the reliability of the New Testament accounts of Jesus. The acronym “MODEMS” helps students remember the main points.

 

The Cumulative Case for Christianity

This is a stair-step series of short points that add up to a convincing case for faith in Christ.

 

Pain, Suffering, Evil, and God

An interactive dialog that features the the Family of God diagram to provide helpful context for understanding suffering and evil.

 

The Challenge of Other Religions (A)

In this presentation I draw a diagram of John Hick’s religious pluralism model and ask students to critique it. Highly interactive engagement on a hot topic.

The Challenge of Other Religions (B)

This interactive talk engages two popular images of religious pluralism: The “mountain” image says that all religions represent different paths up the same mountain. The “blind men and the elephant” image says that religious leaders are like blind men describing different parts of the same elephant — that is, the same spiritual reality.

 

Atheism and the Existence of God

This is a respectful look at contemporary atheism, including suggestions for both Christians and atheists. Also includes a short case for Christian faith.

 

Hypocrisy and the Church

How should we as Christians respond to the critique of atheists and other skeptics that Christianity has often caused wars and other harm? I suggest several Christian responses. 

 

Divine Confusion: God of Wrath or God of Love?

This talk addresses the popular idea that the God of the Old Testament (“Yahweh”) is radically different than Jesus. I also tackle some of the genocide texts of the Old Testament.

The Surprising Jesus: Fine Wine and a Den of Thieves

Jesus as depicted in popular culture is often quite different from the Jesus of Scripture. This talk from John 2 presents a different, surprising Jesus to believers and unbelievers alike. 

 

The Banquet Feast (for core students)

This is a great group study of the Luke 14 banquet passage. Themes: becoming an attractive community, inviting widely, moving from being “guests” to “hosts” of the banquet, hospitality. 

 

Leadership Module (for core students)

Principles to develop your leaders and grow your group. 

 

Is Christianity Trustworthy?

Trust is an important issue to this generation of students. But can Christ, the Bible and the Christian “tradition” be trusted to deliver truth? A good life? 

 

The Bible in 30 Minutes

This is a “fly-over” of the whole Bible, tracing the storyline of God and how we fit in.

 

Trinity and the Family of God

This is an evangelistic talk that connects the historic doctrine of the Trinity with an invitation to join the “family of God,” that is, to receive Christ and become a member of the community of faith.

 

Full List of Talks is here

Note about Audience


All my presentations and talks have “midreach” characteristics — that is, they’re designed for both Christians and non-Christians. The one exception is the Leadership Module, which is aimed at Christian leaders.

Note about Interaction


Unless I am speaking at a Large Group meeting, all my presentations are interactive. That is, I don’t simply “give answers” to tough questions of faith, I ask students/faculty to think through the options, give their opinions, interact with each other, and show respect when there’s disagreement.

And I try to stay a half-step ahead of the action, if possible, giving guidance where needed (and yes, a few “answers” here and there as well).

To summarize: Most presentations are guided discussions.


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